18-wheelers get their name from the number of wheels that are on a cab and a trailer combined. Since regular sized vehicles only have four wheels, it makes sense why 18-wheelers are so much larger, heavier, and more dangerous in accidents involving regular sized vehicles. When the two collide, a Columbia, MO 18-wheeler accident lawyer from Thomas Law Offices can help you recover what you deserve for your injuries.
The injuries and damages that you can suffer from an accident with an 18-wheeler can be catastrophic. A lawyer from our office can help you navigate the 18-wheeler accident claim process. We will fully investigate what caused the accident, who is liable, and what would be considered full and fair compensation based on the damages that you suffered as a result of the collision.
Trucking Regulations in Missouri
Commercial truck drivers are required to have special licenses and certifications in order to drive 18-wheelers to haul goods from one place to another. On top of their special certifications, there are regulations they must follow while driving to ensure they are driving as safely as possible. Some of these regulations are about truck weight, hours driven, and securing cargo.
Even though 18-wheelers have many wheels and more axles than regular trucks, they still have to follow a weight limit. In Missouri, the maximum weight an 18-wheeler can be is 80,000 pounds, but there are two exceptions that allow the weight to be higher. According to the Federal Highway Administration, trucks can weigh up to 120,000 pounds when entering our state from Kansas, and up to 90,000 pounds when entering the state from Oklahoma.
When it comes to the number of hours that a truck driver can drive, they can only drive so many in a row before they have to take a long break, as regulated by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). A truck driver can only drive a maximum of 11 hours in a 14-hour period, and then must spend at least 8 hours off-duty. Over a 7-day period, they can drive up to 60 hours, and in an 8-day period, they can drive up to 70 hours.
Securing cargo in a trailer is important because it ensures that the goods don’t move around and get damaged. When they stay in place, they also can’t cause a weight shift that affects the truck and causes an accident. Cargo must be securely braced against a structure with rope, wire, or another device that can lock it in place. In order to be firmly secured, it must not be able to shift when the trailer moves.
When a truck driver breaks these or any other regulations that are in place to maintain safety, then they could cause an 18-wheeler accident that ends in tragedy. An 18-wheeler accident lawyer from Thomas Law Offices can help you prove the driver’s, their employer’s, or the truck manufacturer’s negligence to get you the compensation you deserve for your damages.
Determining Liability in an 18-Wheeler Accident
18-wheeler accidents might seem straightforward in terms of liability but determining who was responsible can actually be much more complicated, as with all other truck accidents. As the regulations above show, truckers have many rules to follow to stay safe behind the wheel. When they break those rules, then liability is more straightforward and it’s easy to say that their rule-breaking is what caused the truck accident.
However, it’s possible that the truck driver followed the rules and the accident still happened. When that’s the case, there are other parties who could be liable for the collision. The trucking company could be responsible for the crash if they were negligent in some aspect of loading, inspection, or any other part of the truck that falls under their control that didn’t meet safety standards.
The manufacturer of the truck can also be at fault for the accident. If the 18-wheeler has a manufacturer defect, like a faulty trailer hitch, or defective tires, then the manufacturer could be held liable for the wreck because they are expected to create a safe product.
After your truck accident, your 18-wheeler accident lawyer will help you determine who was liable for the collision so they can be held accountable and you can recover full and fair compensation from the correct party. Having a lawyer from Thomas Law Offices on your side will ensure that the accident is fully investigated and every aspect is looked into to ensure that we find whose negligence caused the crash.
Thomas Law Offices Can Get You the Justice You Deserve
An 18-wheeler accident can cause catastrophic injuries and damages to you in your passenger vehicle and anyone else involved. These injuries can cause the medical bills to pile up, make you miss work, and lose wages. If the injuries are severe enough, you might need future medical care and be out of work for even longer. With all these bills and lost wages, it can be stressful trying to figure out where the money will come from and how you can continue to support your family.
That’s where a Columbia, MO 18-wheeler accident lawyer from Thomas Law Offices comes in. With our legal representation, you can feel confident that we will make you a strong case that recovers the compensation you deserve for your injuries and damages so you don’t have to struggle with finances anymore. Reach out to us today so we can start working on your claim.